Over the previous year, well before the layoff, both Mike and I resigned from our teaching and directing positions on Sunday mornings in the children’s ministry at church. Mike felt he needed to be in an adult Life Connection class (aka Sunday School) and I believed my place was to be with and support him.
We got situated in an adult class with which we had done some social things in recent years and we were looking forward to forming some relationships and soaking in some good Bible teaching. It went okay for a while, but dynamics in the class seemed to change and it seemed to be, well, kind of dying. Then, all of the sudden, without any notice or what seemed to be any attempts at reviving the class, it kind of just disbanded in June.
It was in the midst of this change in dynamics that Mike’s layoff occurred which contributed to us not having a core group within our church with whom we could talk about our situation.
Through the summer, our personal financial situation continued to be grim and even seemed to worsen. While Mike technically had a job, it was a situation where he had to kind of form his own business and was working purely on a contract basis. The economy being what it was in 2009, work was scarce... or I could say pretty much nonexistent.
We did attempt to reach out to our pastoral staff but really felt like we got no response or support from them or much of anyone else in our church that we did talk to about our situation.
Disenchantment, discontentment and dissatisfaction with our church began to set it. And not necessarily in a productive or good way.
We had encountered difficulty over the recent years in reconnecting with any adult groups within the church since moving back to Texas from Northern Virginia. We also had some issues and disagreements with leadership. The disbanding of our class and lack of support we felt from the staff just heightened our dissatisfaction with our church. It was kind of "the straw that broke the camel's back."
I had so much on my mind dealing with things that I dropped out of pretty much everything church related. It was as if my brain had these major overriding issues that could not be resolved and I was unable to focus on anything else. At all.
I backed away from my role as a VBS coordinator, I quit choir… I dropped off the face of the planet as far as church was concerned. I felt I needed to focus on my husband, kids and my personal relationship with Jesus. Leadership would have to take a hike for a while.
But there was something else going on as well. Part of my dropping out of things was a way that I began to distance myself from the church. Both of us would be teaching in VBS come August, but we had pretty much decided that we would begin looking for a new church once VBS was over.
… continued in parts 3 – 6 …